‘Fixes’ for Myki queues at suburban stations

The other month I wrote about the queues forming at Melbourne’s City Loop railway stations caused by the increased use of Myki: so what happens to these commuters when they return home at the end of the day? ‘Stuck in more queues’ is the unfortunate answer.

These queues to touch off on exit are getting ridiculous

Thankfully the solution to these crowds at suburban stations is a sensible one – secondary exits have been constructed on the outbound platforms at many stations, with additional Myki FPDs being installed to allow passengers to touch on or off their cards, allowing them to avoid the main entrance to the station. A much more elegant solution than the last minute ‘throw the barriers open before someone gets trampled‘ solution seen in the city.

Four additional Myki FPDs installed on platform 2 at Spotswood - to ease the afternoon peak crowds of people touching off

However in the case of Myki, even good solutions manage to snatch failure from the jaws of success: the rollout of these secondary exits has been half baked, with temporary fencing blocking up many of the exits, leaving passengers still stuck in the crowds.

Additional exit at Bell station, yet again it has been closed off until the Myki equipment is installed

So why are they blocked up? The root cause is due to the work being divided into two phases: civil works to install the steps and path to access the platform, followed by the installation of the actual Myki equipment, with some halfwit having decided that the perfectly safe and complete pathways should not be used by passengers until ticketing equipment is installed.

Myki CVM installed at Ascot Vale platform 2, plus three extra FPDs

As a result Metcard and Myki pass holders who don’t need to touch off still have to wait in line behind people who do want to touch off. I wonder how long until someone in charge realises?

Footnote

The secondary exit shown in the first photo was at Spotswood, the fenced off exits are at Ascot Vale and Bell stations. I’m sure there are plenty more of each type of exit around the Melbourne suburban network.

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6 Responses to “‘Fixes’ for Myki queues at suburban stations”

  1. madlep says:

    Same deal at Seddon

    • Marcus says:

      Now that I think of it, Yarraville has also gained one: the path leads off into the grassy area beside the station.

  2. [...] I wrote about troubles at the City Loop ticket barriers, and in April I detailed the rollout of the long term capacity fix for suburban stations.Today I follow a similar theme – the short term fix being applied to City Loop stations to [...]

  3. Michael Bell says:

    Additional downside exits constructed at Highett & Parkdale (Frankston Line) more than 6 months ago, also still closed by temporary fencing, with no Myki readers yet. @Mykimate suggested they are waiting for Metro to upgrade station lighting before installing the Myki readers – nothing like having another party, and another contract, to really slow things down!
    I’m curious to know why Myki readers even need to be anywhere near the exit points at ungated suburban stations. They could be spread out along the platform to allow people to touch off before getting to the exit point. This is what they have done with Smartrider tag-on/off points at various stations across Perth, and it greatly improves passenger flow at the station exits. I’m sure the Myki equipment has been installed near ‘gates’ because that’s where the gates and ticket checkers (i.e. people) used to be – and no one has bothered to rethink the design to account for unmanned stations and electronic ticketing.

    • Marcus says:

      I’ve heard similar reasons around the new Myki readers sitting unused – lighting and CCTV upgrades being required before the additional station exits can be opened.

      As of the Myki readers being spread along the platform, there are a handful of stations where this has happened: Eltham, Heidelberg and Greensborough are all examples.

      Three additional Myki FPDs at Eltham, installed away from the exit as there wasn't any room

      From the looks of it, it appears they only do this kind of installation where they have nowhere else to put the additional readers. Possibly someone in charge thinks putting readers in the middle of the paid area will make it more difficult for Authorised Officers to fine people who haven’t touched on?

  4. [...] queues at suburban railway stations in Melbourne – I first wrote about the topic a year ago, when the withdrawal of periodical Metcard tickets led to a massive spike in myki usage. So what [...]

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